serves:6 - 8
- 2 free-range British ham hocks on the bone
- 1 carrot
- 1 stick celery
- for the pastry
- 450g (1lb) plain flour
- 1tsp salt
- 2 large free-range eggs, plus 1 free-range egg, beaten, to glaze
- 85g (3½oz) butter
- 85g (3½oz) lard
- for the filling
- 50g (2oz) butter
- 1 large onion, sliced
- 4 sticks celery, chopped
- 2 leeks, sliced
- 3tbsp flour
- 3tbsp wholegrain mustard
- 1 heaped tbsp crème fraîche
- you will need
- 6 to 8 individual pie dishes, or one large one
Put the ham hocks in large saucepan, cover with water, bring to the boil, then drain off the water. Remove the ham and rinse the pan. This process removes the excess salt.
Return to the pan, add the carrot, celery and bay leaves, and cover with cold water. Bring to a very gentle simmer and cook for 3 hours, topping the water level up if it evaporates, and skimming the scum off the surface every so often. When the meat pulls away easily from the bone, remove the ham hocks, reserving 600ml (1pt) of the stock (freeze the rest – it makes a delicious soup base). Leave the ham to cool slightly before stripping from the bone in bite-sized pieces, and removing as much fat as you can. You should be left with around 750g (1lb 10oz) meat.
Make the pastry. Sift the flour with the salt into a large bowl. Make a well in the middle, crack in the 2 eggs and toss some of the flour over them. Put the butter and lard into a saucepan with 200ml (7fl oz) water, and bring slowly to the boil.
Once the liquid is boiling, pour it on to the flour, mixing with a knife or palette knife as you go. Knead until all the egg streaks have disappeared and the pastry is smooth. Press into a flattish disc then chill, wrapped in clingfilm for about an hour.
Meanwhile, make the filling. Melt the butter in a large sauté pan, add the onion, celery and leeks, and cook for 5 minutes until softened but not coloured. Stir in the flour and cook for 2 more minutes, then add the mustard, stir through, and finally add the reserved stock little by little, stirring well so that the sauce thickens. Simmer gently for 5 minutes, stirring, then add the crème fraîche and ham. Divide between the pie dishes and allow to cool.
When the pastry has firmed up, roll it out to about 6mm (¼in) thick, then cut out shapes slightly bigger than the pie dishes. Wet the rims of the pie dishes with water, then press the pastry over them, sticking them down around the edges. Cut 3 slits in the top of each pie to let the steam out, then chill for 30 minutes to firm up. Heat the oven to 190 C, 170 C fan, 375 F, gas 5. When the pastry is firm, glaze the tops of the pies with the extra beaten egg and bake in the top third of the oven for around 35 minutes, or until the pastry is golden and crisp.
Serve with mash and greens.